The Hellenic Hound (Hellenicos Ichnilatis or Ellinikos Ihnilatis) is a millennial Greek breed from Lagonikos area in southern Greece. It is very old, but as with many breeds, it is not clear the exact origin and its roots are lost back in time. It is assumed that its ancestors - Egyptian hunting dogs, were brought in Ancient Greece in the 2nd millennium BC, and perhaps even earlier - about 4000 years ago, Cretans and Phoenicians were accompanied by these hunting dogs.
Greek frescoes, pottery, coins and more certify that the Hellenic Hound have a long history in this country. They are depicted as an integral company of Artemis, goddess of the hunt. The ancient Greeks used them for dog fighting and as a fighting companions during the war.
For centuries Hellenic Hound was the only breed that accompanied the hunters in these lands. Because the region has been isolated, the breed has remained pure, without impurities. The Hellenic Hound began to be exported to the neighboring countries during the time of colonialism.
The first standard is set in 1959 and, although it is an ancient breed, the International Dog Federation recognizes it only in 1996.
The Hellenic Hound is a medium sized hunting dog. This breed is muscular, athletic and durable. The dog is very strong and well proportioned. Hellenic Hound can hunt on any terrain - flat, mountainous, rocky, etc. It has common roots with the Balkan hound.
The chest is well developed and reach the level of the elbow, without dewlap. The back is long and straight. The tail is not long, thick at the base and slightly narrower at the top. When the dog is in motion the tail resembles the shape of a sword. The hips are elongated, strong, muscled. The legs are long, gently sloping and healthy. The eyes are dark brown, alive and intelligent. The nose, lips and fingernails are black. The coat is short, dense and tightly to the body The head of the Hellenic Hound is long and its width should not exceed half of the total length of the head. The transition from forehead to muzzle is moderately pronounced. The skull is slightly flat, the forehead is quite wide. The jaws are strong, with healthy teeth, the lips are well formed. Coloration is black with reddish brown. Sometimes the chest may have a white spots.
The weight of the Hellenic Hound is between 17 and 20 kg, the height - between 45 and 55 centimeters.
Character and behavior
This is an excellent hunting dog, bold, durable, with good character. Hunting really is its favorite pastime. It has a highly developed sense of smell, the voice is deep and resonant, and therefore easily recognizable.
Does not belong to dangerous dogs, as he will never bite a human being. The character is calm, friendly, not aggressive towards strangers, but cannot be called a typical home dog. It is a cheerful and energetic dog. His appetite is moderate.
Training and education
The Hellenic Hound is smart and susceptible to training. It is playful, even with age. It needs space to spend energy - at least two hours daily. Can stand alone at home in the absence of their masters, but it is not recommended to grow it in an apartment.
A firm and patient training is required from an early age, because it is not in this animal's nature to be a pet. You should keep a clear discipline.
Not very suitable for vehicles and frequent trips.
This is a very healthy breed. The major medical problems are related to hunting incidents (injury, breaking a leg, bites, heat stroke, etc).
The average lifespan is about 12 years.
Grooming and care
The maintenance is fairly easy. This is a very clean dog and bathing is not necessary. However, you should brush the hair every day.
Children and other pets
The Hellenic Hound loves to play with children. Usually gets along with other dogs, but due to the strong hunting instinct may appear desire for chasing in the presence of smaller animals such as cats, guinea pigs, etc.
This is the only Greek breed that is recognized internationally. However, this hound is not very popular outside its homeland and puppies for sale are hard to find outside the Balkan Peninsula.